Make-Up & Hair Design BA (Hons)

Make-up & Hair Design BA (Hons)

Course overview

From timeless elegance to the edgiest of fashion editorials, you’ll create beauty masterpieces on our innovative BA (Hons) Make-up and Hair Design course at UCA Rochester.

This course will teach you everything you need to know about the beauty industry, from products to publications, collaborating with creative directors and advertisers to working with high-profile clients.

With a dedicated new style studio and access to digital media suites and fully equipped photography studios, you’ll be able to create, refine and present your work in style.

As you study, you'll develop your in-depth industry knowledge, practical skills and individual signature style so that, by the time you graduate, you’ll have a rich portfolio of work to set you up in your career.

Apply now through Clearing
Length of study 3 years full-time
Campus Rochester
Entry requirements 112 UCAS tariff points
Course entry options Sept 2021
UCAS institution code C93
UCAS code W452

Please note

This course will be taught at UCA Rochester until Summer 2023, after which your final year of study will be taught at UCA Epsom.

Course details

Course details

Investigating Beauty
We start by examining how beauty images, focused through colour, texture and historical settings, can inform beauty images for now and the future. Researching influences on beauty imagery from the past, looking at style and lifestyle, movies and music, culture and heritage, art and interiors; all of which will support a creative and forward-thinking narrative for understanding beauty imagery.

The Narrative of Beauty
This unit investigates telling a story the end-customer wants to hear, communicating a concept, marketing ‘beauty and lifestyle’, combining technical expertise with creative flare. By taking a narrative starting point (song lyric, a real-life event or a direct inspiration point such as a city) and then storyboarding a creative response, you will explore the concept of pulling disparate threads together to create a cohesive, new entity. We will focus on your ability to bring a fresh eye and a new interpretation to style and beauty, using trend boards to communicate the initial idea before further development.

The Context of Beauty
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” - a truism in relation to context. The observer must be able to understand what you are communicating, however beautiful on the surface, it must ‘speak’ to the customer on a deeper level. To this end the context and positioning of your work gives it gravitas, commercial clout, a reason to actually exist and conviction underpinning the creative aspects. Beauty – be it men’s grooming for beards, or a tiny seasonal cosmetics capsule colour story, requires you to understand what the core brand message is, why you are coming up with a creative concept in response, and how that will benefit the product, the brand and sales.

My Portfolio
The aim of this unit, which spans the whole year, is to provide you with the technical practical skills in preparing you for a career as a make-up innovator and creative director. How make-up, as a tool, can be used from the conventional and classic shoot or look book through to a new innovative concept. To understand the technicalities and techniques of professional make-up, the practical basics on which to build and refine creative and technical innovations. To understand and investigate the diversity of make-up and its applications in fashion and style terms is vital.

Creative Catwalk, Film and Performance
This unit is about applying your understanding of the market to beauty in motion, film or performance. The balance of usage between still and moving image in the promotion of ‘Lifestyle and Beauty’ has never been more important. The behind-the-scenes interviews, the sound-bite, the documentary, the as-seen-on or the advert, offer opportunities to go beyond the static. From practical demonstrations through to haute couture beauty editorials, there are countless ways to embrace moving image and creative make-up and hair. In the ‘Creative Catwalk, Film & Performance’ unit, you'll set out to create a short film, documentary of a live event or editorial, which takes creative make-up to the highest level.

Brand Positioning
This unit is about research, analysis and your deep understanding of the market and applying this understanding to branding and creative solutions. Imagine you were applying for the role of creative director at the brand of your dreams (this could be the same brand as in the Creative Catwalk unit).

My Industry
This unit is about gaining direct, insider understanding of the marketplace and your role within it. The unit will begin to prepare you for entry into industry and focuses on the practices and principles of the creative industries surrounding creative make-up and hair design. It will introduce you to professional environments through consideration of expectations regarding internships, your rights as a worker, ethical concerns and how to academically frame your placement in relation to your future goals.

Innovation for the Beauty Industry
In this unit, you are encouraged to work with a client of your choice to embrace and cultivate innovation through creative thinking. Through a process of research, debate and experimentation, you will cultivate and evaluate your ideas and refine the direction of your study.

Research, Theory & Practice
This unit enables you to choose the style of writing that will best reflect and communicate your academic ideas. As the unit progresses you will be the one to decide, with input from your tutors, which readership is best suited for your topic. Deciding on your readership will enable you to locate your study within a journalistic outcome. It is anticipated that the research topic will support your development as a make-up and hair design practitioner and/or broaden your understanding of the wider industry. This will be achieved by absorbing concepts and literature that already exists but you will also add to this through primary research, which can take many forms. Developing your ideas and finding an angle and an argument allows you to potentially add to the knowledge or discussion of this topic.

Final Creative Project
For the Final Creative Project (FCP) you are expected to create a substantial final project that focuses and illustrates your area of professional interest. The Final Creative Project may take a variety of forms (such as a body of editorial work within a publication; a series of films; an exploration of digital media platforms; beauty photography, product development, packaging, ethical or culturally specific narratives, retail or an installation concept; or a combination of some, or all, of these).

Tuition fees
The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
  • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.

Further information
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.


Study in our brand new beauty studio at UCA Rochester. The campus also has a wide range of facilities including fully equipped photography studios and digital media suites with Macs and PCs with latest programmes for editing as well as general design work.


Beauty studio, UCA Rochester


Photography studios, UCA Rochester


Beauty studio, UCA Rochester


Beauty studio, UCA Rochester

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. Students from diverse educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We welcome students with a broad range of A-level subjects, as well as students with appropriate Art & Design Foundations or BTEC/UALAB diplomas which allow you to demonstrate your ability to research, evaluate and produce creative solutions. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

More portfolio advice

Apply now

UK applications

International & EU applications

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa.
If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 or

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2021 entry - get your application in now.
If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

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